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Solictor has probably undercharged

A solicitor quoted a figure for doing a piece of work and has undercharged

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A solicitor was asked to prepare two wills and quoted a sensible fee for doing that. It has been done and all signed off etc. At the signing off meeting advice was sought on another unrelated matter and this advice was given.

The solicitor said at the meeting that there would be a small charge for the additional advice.

A bill has been received which does not include the original fee quoted (although it does refer to the wills) and is only for a reasonable amount for the advice.

What should we do? What would you do?

Would your response be different if it was an accountant rather than a solicitor?

 

 

Replies (18)

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By andrew1211
26th Apr 2018 11:30

Up to them to sort their billing procedures although don't be surprised if they notice it ages later and raise the bill then!

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By johngroganjga
26th Apr 2018 11:30

I would pay the bill and at the same time tell him that you will look forward to receiving his bill for the agreed fee for the preparation of the wills in due course.

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By mrme89
26th Apr 2018 11:31

Stop been dodgy and let the solicitor know.

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Replying to mrme89:
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By Joe Soap
26th Apr 2018 21:22

Why do you assume I am being dodgy?
My question was about what you would do or advise. I said nothing about what I had or had not done, or was intending to do or not.

Don't you think it is very dangerous for any professional person to make unfounded assumptions when giving advice?

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Replying to Joe Soap:
By mrme89
27th Apr 2018 06:40

Why do I assume?
Because people that naturally do the right thing don’t look to an online forum to justify their dodgy ways.

Unfounded assumptions? Not on the information to hand.

Despite you being rather sensitive and defensive, you’ve given me nothing to think that my intial thoughts are incorrect.

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Replying to mrme89:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
26th Apr 2018 22:52

Whilst the OP uses " quote "I would strongly suspect it might well have actually originally been an estimate not a quote from the solicitor.

I have seen occasional quotes from solicitors but they have tended to be where they say charge time and line at outset to say prepare a Deed of Condition/examine titles and then quote at £xxx per flat re each subsequent flat sale.

Accordingly if it were an estimate not a quote there is actually nothing dodgy, an estimate allows for a cost to be both above and below the stated figure.

So in such a scenario there is "no right thing" but yes, as I posted earlier ,I likely would make a call to ensure correct understanding.

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
26th Apr 2018 11:35

Suspect it would depend on my anticipated long term relationship with that solicitor, if I had a long term and close working relationship I suspect I would mention it casually in conversation, probably in a light hearted way, and see what happens.

It may well be that he/she is not bothered and no further fee arises but you by raising it have engendered some valuable goodwill.

It is pretty hard to be categoric in the abstract, only you can gauge whether this is likely an oversight or intentional, though I must say when I have sent out reduced fees I have tended to show this on the fee note as charge x restricted to y.

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By Justin Bryant
26th Apr 2018 12:18

They could perhaps make a tax free, VAT free gift to the firm as a thank you gesture.

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By andy.partridge
26th Apr 2018 12:29

If you like them, tell them. If you hate them, don't, but be prepared to hate yourself for it.

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PJ
By paulgrca.net
26th Apr 2018 13:06

What would I do?

Post a question on AW......NO.

Phone Solicitor.............YES

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Replying to paulgrca.net:
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By KevinMcC
26th Apr 2018 14:35

But then you wouldn't be hoping to get a plethora of answers telling you to ignore it and keep the money, to in some way justify the action that deep down you want take...

OP - mention it to the solicitor. You agreed to the fee and were obviously prepared to pay it. It could well be that they intend to charge you no more for the work, but by mentioning it, you earn yourself some goodwill from them for querying it, and you live with a clear conscience, and the knowledge that you have a solicitor that isn't going to rip you off.

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By Joe Soap
26th Apr 2018 21:32

I had actually decided exactly what I was going to do about it before I posted the question.
The range and variety of responses has been interesting and instructive - in particular the one that jumps to a conclusion on the basis of absolutely no information.

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Replying to Joe Soap:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
26th Apr 2018 23:26

Joe Soap wrote:

I had actually decided exactly what I was going to do about it before I posted the question.

And what was that?

Out of curiosity, why did you then post the question?

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By Joe Soap
28th Apr 2018 11:01

I phoned the solicitor and spoke to his PA and left a message for him asking that he "look at the billing again as he may want to reconsider what he has billed". He has not come back to me yet.

I posted the question out of curiosity as to what others might think/do/say etc.

There have been an interesting variety of responses - in particular the individual who jumped to a conclusion based on no evidence.

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Replying to Joe Soap:
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By Cheshire
28th Apr 2018 11:19

I didnt respond earlier, but came to the same conclusion as that one individual. If you have morals there is no need to ask such a question on a forum.

I think your suggestion that they may want to reconsider what has been billed, rather than ' I cant seem to locate an invoice for the wills', only serves to re-inforce the fact that you are coming across as trying to get away with getting a freebie.

Plus if you look closely there is another individual who says the same, just in a different manner.

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Replying to Joe Soap:
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By andy.partridge
30th Apr 2018 12:38

What an odd and ambiguous thing to say to the PA. Sounds like you are referring to an over-charge.

Couldn't you bring yourself to say you had been under-charged?

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Replying to Joe Soap:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
30th Apr 2018 13:18

Joe Soap wrote:
in particular the one that jumps to a conclusion on the basis of absolutely no information.

Hardly a jump. More like a tiny step.

Posting the question at all only makes sense if you are considering saying nothing as an option. Your actual action is not much better really. The only reason for using such vague wording is as a feeble attempt to assuage your conscience ("I gave him a chance to spot the error") whilst still hoping to get away with it.

If being judged by your actions, or lack thereof, upsets you, maybe you shouldn't post about them on a public forum.

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By andy.partridge
30th Apr 2018 14:55

Solicitor (to PA): I'm looking for Mr Joe Soap's file, can't find it under 'S', did you put it under 'J'?

PA: You'll find it under 'D' for Dikk'ead.

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